§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE (Wexford, N.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he will state how much money the Board of Agriculture for Ireland has spent for the furtherance of forestry education and on the development of afforestation in Ireland under Section 30 of the Act constituting that body; how much, if any, it is intended to spend in these matters during the coming financial year; if it is proposed to acquire any land for these purposes; and if the Department would consider the desirability of purchasing waste lands for planting under the operation of Section 4 of the Land Purchase Act.
(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) The Department has expended about £900 on a survey of the conditions of woods and plantations in Ireland and the prospects of forestry development. This survey, which is supplementary to the recent inquiry by the Committee on Forestry of the Board of Agriculture, on which the Department was represented, is intended to guide the Department in its policy with regard to forestry work and education. As a result of the information obtained the Department has selected and purchased an estate in county Wicklow, specially suited for the purpose, as a nucleus for a school of practical forestry. It is not yet possible to say what sum will be devoted to forestry education in the coming financial year. The question of acquiring as trustees parcels of estates containing land suitable for tree planting which may come into the hands of the Estates Commissioners under the Act of 1903 is engaging the attention of the Department in consultation with the Estates Commissioners.